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Dodge Caliber MPG-Real World Numbers

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,090
With the price of fuel being what it is, the mileage you're getting is becoming more important. This is the place to discuss the mileage performance you're getting out int he real world.

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  • Just wondering if all the caliber owners reporting MPG are doing it by calculating it at the gas pump and odometer or using the in-car system. I think its been shown time and time again that the in-car MPG ratings are very generous and overestimate milage.
  • zugislandzugisland Posts: 21
    Frogger, I ve been doing the MPG calc manually aslo and thetrip computerhas beenvery accurate......so farwith 1500 the best ive done is 25.4 mpg per tank ....so I am slightly disapointed with that so far...the dealer says break in will improve it...those that have posted 27 mpg .what enginedo you have? I have the 2.0 L sxt sport fwd variant....I also concur with the mssg re the cup holders....but other wise love the car so far....also this is the 1st car ive had in awhile w/o heated mirrors....they did freeze up with some snow fall and it was hard to see out of them....cant believe this is not an option at all...any thoughts?
  • canoenutcanoenut Posts: 12
    Thanks for your input. I've taken the gamble on ordering a Caliber SXT 1.8 w/5-speed. Looking forward to finding out what my real-life mileage per gallon will be. I also was hoping for the heated mirrors like the VW Golf, Focus, etc. and don't understand that DCX wouldn't offer them with the heated seats option.
  • lexan1965lexan1965 Posts: 118
    I have a 2.0 liter on my Caliber SXT (2wd) and have gotten 27mpg consistently. I just recently changed the oil and put Mobil 1 synthetic in the engine. I now have 2200 miles on it and am testing the gas mileage manually as I did'nt get that option on my car. I'll post my gas mileage average after a few tanks of gas.
    I was also surprised the SXT model I bought did'nt have cruise control on it. The dealer told me they would give it to me at cost as soon as the kits become availible. It's the only "other" thing I wanted on my Caliber so I'll have to wait until they send the cruise control kits out to the dealers.
  • I thought cruise was standard on the SXT? What color did you get?

    CB
  • lexan1965lexan1965 Posts: 118
    I bought a caliber in the "inferno red" which in my opinion is the best color they have. :shades: I would have thought the SXT's would have cruise as being standard but alas...it did not.
  • zugislandzugisland Posts: 21
    folks there as been a few posts with 27 to 29 mp combined...i have 2400 miles on mine now and still havent gotten better then 25.5 mpg ....i admit i drive a touch aggresive but most of my driving is highway....any other oomments would be appreciated
  • I bought my new Caliber SXT 2.0 about two weeks ago, I have not been getting the clamed gas mileage, I have run about two tanks through it and I am only getting 24 or 25 miles per gallon even though most of my driving is on the highway. Today the check engine light came on, I took it in to the Dodge dealer and they said it was an ambient air sensor error; They told me Chrysler knows about the problem but would not have a software fix until April or May. They told me not to park it in a warm garage and then drive into the cold because the car thinks something has gone wrong when it sees a sudden temperature change. I am loosing faith fast, It may have been best to wait until they had all the bugs worked out.
  • I have 1100 miles on my SXT 2.0. It gets the advertised 26-30 mpg. This is about the same MPG as my last compact car, which weighed much less and had none of the Caliber's style or versatility.

    I park in a warm garage every night and I have not had the check engine light problem, but this appears to be something that will not be dificult to fix. DCX needs to get the new programming road-tested before they tell everyone that this is the "fix", that's probably why you were asked to wait.

    As I've said before, the positves on this car far outweigh any negatives. Everyone I've showed mine to is amazed at the style, safety, quality, and versatility that less than $17k will buy.
  • zugislandzugisland Posts: 21
    24--25 mpg with mostly hwy driving and alsmot 2200 miles now...will switch to mobil one soon .....no engine light problem but am getting significant torgue steer from a dead stop.....anyone else experiencing this....took it to the dealer and they were dumbfounded althought they did correct it slightly ....anyeon getting better mileage ar eyou in a warm weather state? i am in michigan and it has been consitenly cold here...
  • lexan1965lexan1965 Posts: 118
    I just went over 3000 miles on my 2.0 liter Caliber and I'm getting between 27 to almost 30 mpg. I drive about 70% highway miles to and from work. I did change my oil at about 1500 miles and used Mobil 1 synthetic 5w 20. After that I checked mpg and was getting 29.6 mpg. So, whether it was the engine breaking in or the synthetic oil or maybe both.
  • My SXT CVT has about 1700 miles now. MPG has increased to about 28 to 30 overall. This is a little bit better than my previous small car, which was not as heavy or versatile and was rated higher than it actually got(2004 Saturn Ion Auto.) CVT has very smooth operation. I believe the CVT is the same one that will be used in the upcoming Nissan Versa. Very solid car overall. As for the PT cruiser, it is versatile, but it was only rated 25 mpg highway, so the Caliber is better in both categories, in my opinion. :)
  • i GOT MY SXT SPORT ON WEDNESDAY. i HAD TO DRIVE FROM NORTHERN OREGON TO CENTRAL CALIFORNIA (650 MILES) IN ONE DAY. i WAS ONLY ABLE TO GET 88 MILES ON THE CAR AROUNd TOWN BEFORE THE TRIP STARTED.

    i GOT A solid 30 MPGs this first run. I'm very pleased with that. what do you think? also should i be worried that such a long hwy trip happened before having adequate break in tme?
    thanks!
  • :D Relax, the service manager at the dealer where I ordered my SXT Sport 1.8 5 speed told me that there is no break in period for these engines, just get in and DRIVE!!!
  • 79customd79customd Posts: 87
    So was most of the trip on the highway at road speeds? I ask because we rescently took a trip to the Peidmont of NC( 580 miles round trip ) with our 2005 Chevy 2500 HD Duramax deisel crew cab 4x4 and got an impressive 21.6mpg!

    I like the 30mpg, but that is not significantly higher than what you can get in a truck that is 4 thousand pounds heavier, can fit a family of five in, tow a 12k trailer and haul a load MUCH GREATER than that of a compact. I will admit though we are kinda granny drivers though so guys who like to give her the whip can fly by us and get ther faster but we hold the speed limit. I hope that there are some people who are getting upper to mid 30s range mpg, b/c that is not to impressive in my opinion to make me step dowwn the scale so far in capability.

    My dads old 99 GMC K1500 gets 22.5mpg, and its an old 5.7L V8 old classic version( old body style ) My old 1979 Custom Deluxe lacking overdrive will probably get 20MPG or there about even though its a 6 cylinder.

    Any other mileage figures on the Caliber on trips or highway cruises that top 30mpg or is that about all you can squeeze out.
  • kato1kato1 Posts: 64
    "Any other mileage figures on the Caliber on trips or highway cruises that top 30mpg or is that about all you can squeeze out. "

    the highest highway mpg rating for any of the caliber is 32 mpg, chrysler, gm , ford historically seem to struggle to meet these numbers in the real world, where several of the asian automakers come close to achieving or exceeding their numbers, which are already quite a bit higher than 32 mpg. the pt cruiser is a perfect example: rarely were drivers able to achieve the epa numbers, which were pretty low as it was. the caliber does not possess a particularly fuel efficient engine, is not aerodynamic, and is way too heavy. 30 mpg is probably about as good as its gonna get. its really disappointing that dam/cry has nothing to offer in the compact segment (AND YES THE CALIBER IS IN THIS SEGMENT) to attract those looking for fuel efficiency and versatility--see: matrix/vibe, nissan versa, honda fit,et al. sorry to offend anyone, but when your MOST fuel efficient version is rated at 32 mpg, that is downright embarrassing.
  • oh, i should have stated that my last car was a crappy subaru in bad shape that got 14 mpg! so i am getting 2x what i was a month ago.

    also, i was expecting 25 mpg after reading the forum and other's experiences. and since this was the first tank of gas and i'm still under 800 miles on the car, it can only het bettr. :)
  • lexan1965lexan1965 Posts: 118
    I've got 4700 miles on my Caliber and I'm getting about 29 mpg on a 2.0 fwd. I drive 80 miles round trip a day to and from work and a tank of gas last me 4 days.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I used to get 35 mpg, on long freeway roadtrips (75mph or under) with the following cars:

    2002 Neon stick shift;
    2004 Scion xA stick shift;
    2004 Chevy Cavalier (ecotec) with stick shift;
    2006 Chevy Cobalt with stick shift (current car)
    2003 Honda Civic coupe with stick shift.
    2005 Focus ZX3 PZEV with stick shift

    The following cars got me 32 mpg under my 80 mile mostly freeway commute with light to moderate traffic:

    2002 Neon stick shift;
    2004 Scion xA stick shift;
    2004 Chevy Cavalier (ecotec) with stick shift;
    2006 Chevy Cobalt with stick shift (current car)
    2003 Honda Civic coupe with stick shift.
    2005 Focus ZX3 PZEV with stick shift

    The following cars got me 30 mpg under my 80 mile mostly freeway commute with light to moderate traffic:

    2001 VW Golf stick shift;
    2004 Neon automatic;
    2004 VW Golf stick shift;
    the other Focus ZX3 sticks shifts I had (Zetec engine)

    The following cars dropped to 26 mpg if I took long road trips and drove 80mph:

    both VW Golfs

    The following car dropped to 30 mpg if I took long road trips and drove 80 mph:

    the Scion xA

    26 mpg, all conditions:

    2003 Focus ZX3 automatic (2.0 Zetec).

    24 mpg, optimal highway conditions:

    PT Cruisers, 2004 and 2006 both with automatic

    28 mpg, optimal highway conditions:

    2005 Honda CR-V with 5 speed auto

    23.5 mpg, daily commute (80 mile freeway, as above):

    2006 Dodge Carvan SE with 2.4 4 cylinder engine.

    18 mpg, 50/50 city and higway:

    the PT Cruisers (they take a big hit with city driving).

    IN SHORT 26-30 mpg with the Caliber is excellent mileage, given the following factors (i) I am a turtle away from stop lights compared with most of you; (ii) I read the traffic conditions ahead of me on the freeway, and seldom have to brake (just lifting my foot off the gas works) or accelerate hard; (iii) the Caliber is a much heavier, safer car than most of my higher mpg vehicles listed above; (iv) almost all my high mileage numbers (except the CR-V and Neon) come from stick shift vehicles - automatics really slam the mileage, I don't care what the EPA says in comparing stick shifts and automatics. The CVT in the Caliber is supposed to be more efficient in the Caliber, but apparently only improves city cycle mileage, not freeway mileage, over a conventional automatic.

    In short, enjoy the car, don't stress.
  • kato1kato1 Posts: 64
    "IN SHORT 26-30 mpg with the Caliber is excellent mileage, given the following factors (i) I am a turtle away from stop lights compared with most of you; (ii) I read the traffic conditions ahead of me on the freeway, and seldom have to brake (just lifting my foot off the gas works) or accelerate hard"

    WHAT!!!???, you consider 26-30 mpg excellent mileage, AND you drive conservatively!!! sorry, this car is a compact car. the matrix has pretty much equal cargo capacities and blows the caliber away as far as mileage. ive driven a couple and they were a blast to drive as well. i hate to see what caliber owners who dont drive conservatively get for mileage. i just got back from a 265 mile trip with my corolla--44.3 MPG and i am only willing to say this is acceptable: i could probably have driven a little slower and done better.

    "(iii) the Caliber is a much heavier, safer car than most of my higher mpg vehicles listed above;"

    several of those cars similarly equipped as the caliber get similar crash test results

    why does chrysler offer such PATHETIC gas mileage in their vehicles. i dont have the answer, but perhaps there are a plethora of chrysler owners feeling that an anemic 26-30 mpg is excellent. the caliber is not fast anyway, so why cant it be reasonably fuel efficient?

    sorry to rant, but in no way, shape, or form can 26-30 mpg be considered acceptable in this segment. it is just SAD, SAD, SAD people accept this from chrysler products. it is particularly bad timing as well, considering the state of gasoline prices.

    a good analogy is chicago cubs fans who keep filling wrigley field year after year even though there is a poor product on the field. they are all there for the "atmosphere" but in the end the product is still a loser.

    chrysler owners: demand better, and maybe they will build something that doesn't insult your intelligence.

    the caliber offers nothing over the competition, and they've had several years (matrix/vibe came out in 2002) to engineer and build something more competitive.

    i may come off as a toyota owning snob, but on the contrary i would love to see the big 3 step up to the plate, but they always seem to be lagging behind, and in the case of the caliber, lagging far behind. this is 2006. i just passed a gas pump that read $3.01 for regular. your most fuel efficient car needs not be such a JOKE!
  • neely2005neely2005 Posts: 70
    I know that you're not comparing a Diesel Engine to a Gasoline Engine, Right?
  • First off, they probably have a forum for Corolla lovers, ok kato1?

    Now, if I drive a Caliber 100k miles and average 28 mpg (likely) that takes 3571 gallons of gas, $2.75 per gallon on average, gives a cost of $9821.

    If I drove a car that got 38 mpg for the same 100k miles, it would take 2632 gallons of gas, $2.75 per gallon on average, gives a cost of $7237.

    Thus, the savings would be $2584.

    BUT, how much more would it cost to build/buy the higher MPG car? Probably $2500 or more, ... Do we all get it now? I'm sure DCX has done these calculations several times...

    When I was looking at Jettas a while back, it was actually cheaper to buy the gasser than the TDI, because the TDI commands full sticker price and the gasser does not. There was more of a price differential than the fuel savings would offset in 100k. Even the VW dealer agreed with my numbers...

    I think you would need to drive a Toyota Prius about 250k before you actually start saving money, since they cost so much to begin with... and the insuracnce is high too because of the value of the car.

    The 2006 Civic may get 35 mpg overall, but it is slightly higher priced than the Caliber, has fewer features, and will break you on insurance since its the #1 most stolen car...

    Bottom line - my Caliber uses no more gas than my late-model failed GM experiment did, and it has many likable features not found on the entry-level econoboxes.

    Its all in what you want and what you want to pay for.
  • here here, nonnemacher. my sentiments exactly, and more eloquently!
    Thank You!
  • kato1kato1 Posts: 64
    Now, if I drive a Caliber 100k miles and average 28 mpg (likely) that takes 3571 gallons of gas, $2.75 per gallon on average, gives a cost of $9821.

    "If I drove a car that got 38 mpg for the same 100k miles, it would take 2632 gallons of gas, $2.75 per gallon on average, gives a cost of $7237.

    Thus, the savings would be $2584.

    BUT, how much more would it cost to build/buy the higher MPG car? Probably $2500 or more, ... Do we all get it now? I'm sure DCX has done these calculations several times..."

    ...this argument holds no water. to even get air conditioning in a caliber, youll spend as much or more than a toyota matrix w/ac and still give up at least 6-8 mpg. (BTW, MY COROLLA COST ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE BASE CALIBER, BUT I GET AC, POWER LOCKS, MIRRORS--AND A GOOD 8-12 MORE MILES PER GALLON.) additionally, $2.75/ gallon is likely wishful thinking for the next decad. so, toyota and honda can do it but DCX cannot? its not that they cannot afford to build such a car, they do not have the will to do it and here's why, IN MY OPINION:

    your quote was as follows--"Bottom line - my Caliber uses no more gas than my late-model failed GM experiment did, and it has many likable features not found on the entry-level econoboxes"

    BIG 3 owners have fairly low standards. you seem satisfied to be using no more gas than a "failed gm experiment". if you want to compare DCX products to ford and gm, they will always come out ok.

    yes i think the corolla (and matrix) are great cars. since i sell both DCX and Toyo products for the same dealership, i find those two cars strong representatives for the compact car segment and a good point of reference for comparing to the caliber--I WOULD LOVE TO PURCHASE A DCX, FORD, OR GM PRODUCT--but, i work hard for my money and want/need to get as much for my money as possible. a dodge caliber doesnt give me any value for my money.

    i believe that domestic car owners have slowly begun to speak with their pocketbooks and are demanding better innovation at fair prices, thus TOYO's incredible growth in market share. (as well as the Korean automakers) as an american, i would love to see the big 3 as the leaders in the automotive industry, but im not willing to give them my money unless they are willing to step forward and be more competitive.

    i honestly think, and would hope, most Americans are like me and would gladly drive a domestic vehicle if it were up to par with the rest of the market. unlike some, i think the caliber looks decent, and if they offered a fuel efficient version i would have seriously considered it. they chose not to offer such a vehicle. if enough people are willing to drive a compact that gets poor mileage, then i think DCX will be content with that.
  • does the beverage cooler take away from gas mileage?
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    Go to Toyota.com and Dodge.com. Build a Caliber and a Matrix with as close to the same equipment. Pick the popular Matrix XR and Caliber SXT, both automatics. The Caliber has about $1500 lower MSRP. Comparing base model prices means nothing if they have different equipment.

    quote=this argument holds no water. to even get air conditioning in a caliber, you'll spend as much or more than a toyota matrix w/ac and still give up at least 6-8 mpg

    You cannot even get a Matrix in my region with ABS and side air bags that are standard on the $16k Caliber. AC is important to you, other features are important to other people.

    I'm not sure why you keep throwing the Corolla into the mix. Yes, it is a compact, but does not have the utility of a hatchback/5-dr nor the look/image. People are not cross shopping the appliance Corolla with hatchbacks.
  • I agree! I need the cargo capacity of a hatchback or wagon and would like good gas mileage (better than my Jeep Liberty). The only vehicle that I am considering (other than the Caliber) is the Kia Rio 5. I drove one yesterday and it is great. Now, if my Dodge dealer would get a Caliber in that I could drive, I could make a decision. A Corolla is another car in another automotive universe.
  • mek0123mek0123 Posts: 33
    I think I would rather get broadsided or T-boned in a Caliber than its Toyota/Honda/Kia/Hyundai equivalent. I've seen the smaller economobiles after a bad accident and it has (in some cases) taken years, if ever, for the driver and/or occupants to get back to a normal mobile life. The 3100lbs the Caliber weighs affects the mileage naturally, but one must ask themself, is it worth it to be seriously crippled up after such? Urban dwellers might find this point more important than their rural counterparts. Just a point I thought I'd throw your way.
  • wcottwcott Posts: 35
    I've driven the Rio...my biggest bug with that car is the size of the motor. It's a bit small for my tastes. Granted for 75 percent of the time when you're city driving, it would be sufficient. But I don't want to be white-knuckling the wheel while trying to pass a RV on the highway.
    Isn't the Kia Spectra5 a titch bit bigger?
  • kato1kato1 Posts: 64
    "I'm not sure why you keep throwing the Corolla into the mix. Yes, it is a compact, but does not have the utility of a hatchback/5-dr nor the look/image. People are not cross shopping the appliance Corolla with hatchbacks. "

    youre right. most people probably arent cross shopping a caliber with a corolla. the corolla is indeed very appliance like, but does its job very well. but i think the matrix is a good comparison. when i build a caliber and matrix the way i want them the price is within $1000.
    of course we all want different features in a car. the caliber will have good utility and definitely has unique looks. i guess all my babbling on the caliber is that it doesnt shine in the one area that a compact car should. maybe a couple years in, they will offer a more fuel efficient version??? as ive stated before, i'd definitely consider this car if they did that.
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